Old Fashioned Recipe

The Old Fashioned Recipe is one of the oldest known cocktails. Learn how to make this classic with our award-winning mixologists
Old Fashioned Cocktail in a rocks glass with orange slice garnish on a wooden table







Old Fashioned Recipe Ingredients

50ml Bourbon Whisky
10ml Demerara Sugar Syrup or Brown Sugar Cube
2 Dashes Of Angostura Bitters
Orange Zest

How To Make An Old Fashioned Cocktail

Cut a few discs of orange zest and add to the rocks glass. Muddle the orange gently to start releasing the oil.

Add sugar cube if using and carefully add two dashes to the cube to help break it down. Otherwise add the sugar syrup

Be careful not to put too much of the bitters in the glass as it will change the flavour of the cocktail too much.

Pour half the whiskey into the glass and three cubes of ice and stir for thirty seconds.

Repeat with the remainder of whiskey and more ice and stir again. Squeeze a further orange zest over the cocktail and serve.


Orange Zest

Tell Us About The Old Fashioned Recipe

The Old Fashioned recipe dates all the way back to the 1800s and has many claims as to who invented it and when.

The first version of the Old Fashioned cocktail was known as the Whiskey cocktail, which was a common remedy of the time for headaches and nausea.

This blend of whiskey, bitters, sugar and lemon zest bore a very close resemblance to the famous cocktail we know and love today.

This version that you see on menus the world over was said to be popularised by Colonel James E Pepper in 1880. He was a renowned distillery owner from Louisville, USA.

A local haunt of his, The Pendennis Club, mixed an Old Fashioned cocktail and Pepper liked it so much he introduced it to the Waldorf-Astoria in New York in 1880.

Pepper spent much time in New York promoting his Bourbon brand and the cocktail was a perfect vehicle into the bars and hotels of the time.

Today, there are many variations of the Old Fashioned recipe including the Mint Julep and Whisky Smash.

What has been enduring though is the original recipe and it is immensely popular.

Every cocktail bar in the world will know how to make an Old Fashioned and it is another of the worlds most popular cocktails.

Expert Tip

When creating the Old Fashioned cocktail recipe be sure to use the Angostura Bitters with care.

It is an essential flavour enhancer to add to the cocktail but too much (like seasoning in food) can ruin the cocktail.

A bartending trick is to place a sugar cube on a napkin and add the dashes of bitters onto the cube before using it in the drink.

This way any excess that misses the cube will get soaked up by the napkin.


What to Try Next?

Enjoyed reading about the Old Fashioned recipe? Why not make it yourself…

Old Fashioned Cocktail Making Kit

Old Fashioned Cocktail Making Kit from The Cocktail Society

Our Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit is the perfect accompaniment for a night in, or night out!

Get the party started and make your very own Old Fashioned cocktail at home with The Cocktail Society’s very own Old Fashioned cocktail kit, complete with everything you need to make your own cocktail at home.

This premium cocktail kit includes the finest ingredients, complete with Woodford Reserve Whisky and Angostura Bitters for a delicious quality cocktail.

We even provide the jigger!

Delve into the world of cocktails at home and make the perfect Old Fashioned at home.

Not a fan of whisky yourself? This Old Fashioned cocktail making kit will make the perfect gift!

Buy now

Smoked Old Fashioned Bottled Cocktail

The Cocktail Society Smoked Old Fashioned Bottled Cocktail

Ever wondered what an Old Fashioned bottled cocktail would taste like? Look no further!

Crafted by our mixologists for a premium taste in a bottle, our bottled Old Fashioned makes it easier than ever to enjoy your favourite cocktail at home.

Curated with care from quality ingredients including Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey, our Old Fashioned bottled cocktail add a smoked finish to this cocktail classic.

Ready to drink and deliciously smooth, our bottled cocktails are available in both 200ml and 500ml.

Find out more


Get some cocktail inspiration

Other Recipes